Nightsleeper: plot and everything we know about the real-time thriller

Filming on Nick Leather's new six-part series begins in 2023 (Image credit: BBC1)

A runaway train is heading our way in the form of Nightsleeper, a real-time thriller filled with "personal intrigue, political maneuvering and danger". 

The six-part BBC1 series created by BAFTA-winning writer Nick Leather (The Control Room, Mother’s Day) will see passengers battling to save themselves during a sleeper train journey from Glasgow to London. 

Produced by Euston Films — appropriate! — the film, has been described as a modern twist on the runaway train genre. 

Gaynor Holmes, Commissioning Editor for BBC Drama, says: "Nick Leather’s ingenious scripts combine a fantastic premise with a nail-biting plot and characters you will root for. We can’t wait to bring Nightsleeper hurtling on to the BBC — viewers will definitely want to catch it."

Here's everything we know...

Nightsleeper release date

The BBC have confirmed that filming will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2023. This means we could see the six-part series on our screens later that year or in early 2024. 

There's no US release date currently.

Nightsleeper plot

The BBC teases: "Nightsleeper is a real-time thriller set on a sleeper train travelling from Glasgow to London, while a government agency desperately tries to intervene in the rapidly-escalating events onboard. 

"Can two people who’ve never met, one on the train and one not, work together to save the lives of its disparate group of passengers as the Heart of Britain service hurtles towards what might quite literally be its final destination?"


There's no casting news from the BBC on this one, but a high-octane six-part drama is sure to attract some big names from the world of British TV. When we hear word on casting, we'll be sure to let you know. 

Who is Nightsleeper creator Nick Leather? 

Leather is most famous for writing 2021 BBC1 series The Control Room, a thriller starring Iain De Caestecker and Joanna Vanderham, about an emergency call handler. 

He also won a BAFTA for his 2018 standalone Mother's Day, which was based on an infamous IRA bombing attack in Warrington, close to where the writer grew up. 

He has also previously worked closely with Jimmy McGovern, penning episodes of his dramas Broken and Moving On, while also writing on Apple TV Plus series Suspicion

When speaking about working on Nightsleeper, Leather said: “I couldn’t be more excited to work with Euston Films and the BBC to drive the engine of this real-time thriller and take our audience along for a ride full of personal intrigue, political maneuvering and danger. By the time dawn breaks at the end of this journey, no-one involved will ever be the same again”.

Nightsleeper trailer

There's no trailer for this one yet, but we'll be sure to keep you posted once it lands. 

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.